In 1986, Power Machinery and Engineering Discipline had the right to confer doctoral degrees. In 1990, Thermal Energy Engineering Discipline had the right to confer doctoral degrees. In 1993, Engineering Thermophysics Discipline had the right to confer doctoral degrees. In 2000, the first-class discipline Power Engineering and Engineering Thermophysics had the right to confer doctoral degrees. The disciplines of Fluid Machinery and Engineering, Refrigeration and Cryogenic Engineering, and Chemical Process Machinery had the right to confer doctoral degrees successively.

In accordance with the relevant provisions of HIT and the relevant disciplines, the doctoral training period is generally three to five years. The doctoral supervisor responsibility system is implemented. According to the training needs, assistant supervisors and assistant instructors can be appointed. Doctoral training includes two stages: curriculum study and subject research. Curriculum study adopts credit system. For the doctoral training program in 2012, see the Appendix 4.

The stage of subject research and dissertation is the key to doctoral training. Different from the training of graduate students, doctoral training should focus on the cultivation of innovation abilities. Therefore, the topics of dissertation must be original, which should be in contact with academic frontier and the unsolved scientific problems, so that the breakthrough in theoretical study can be expected. Meanwhile, combining theory and practice and experimental verification of the topics and dissertation are stressed. Most doctoral subjects are based on major national issues as the background.

Dissertation writing requires the authors to focus on expounding innovative achievements and innovation in research, and to have a good knowledge of the development of the discipline/field. Theoretical derivation and the whole process of experimental verification should be covered. The doctoral students also have to meet one of the following three basic requirements: (1) Publish one academic paper in important international academic journals in the field; (2) Publish two papers in international academic journals retrieved from SCIEI or international conference proceedings, of which at least one should be published in international academic journals; (3) Publish at least three papers in core publications or higher level publications, including international conference proceedings retrieved from ISTP. At least one paper should be published in Journals of EI retrieval except for Journal of Harbin Institute of Technology (Chinese and English Edition) and Materials Science and Technology. At least one paper should be written in English.Patents of Power Engineering and Engineering Thermophysics disciplines that are applied and accepted (sorted in the top three) are equivalent to papers of core journals.

In order to cultivate high-quality doctoral students, the doctoral supervisors actively keep up with country needs, participate in national science and technology programs to undertake major projects, includingthe 863 Program, the programs of National Natural Science Foundation of China, some provincial major scientific and technological projects, and the scientific and technological projects of well-known companies at home and abroad.